What is the best way to determine the Market Value of the Giants free agent signings? Probably not this.
The average shortstop salary for this years free agents is $6.41 million. Miguel Tejada received a one-year $6.5 million contract from the Giants. Which means GM Brian Sabean was on his game with this contract.I saw this from the King of Cali at SFGiantsBaseball.net and to me it leaves something to be desired. Looking at the average salary misses out on a quite a bit, a better measure would be looking at the marginal value of each of these players. What do we say we dig a little deeper.
Now the first base position is a different story. The average free agent signing thus far at first base has signed for $6.53 million. The Giants re-signed Aubrey Huff for a two year $22 million contract. Huff will make $10 million in 2011 and 2012 (2013 club option or $2 million buyout).
This offseason has seen some inflation in the salaries of free agents especially in the big money deals of guys like Carl Crawford, Jayson Werth and Cliff Lee. The marginal value of a win has increased from about $4.5 million to just under $5 million.
With this as our baseline we can look at what the market value was for the Giants free agent signings.
Aubrey Huff, two year $22 million deal
Miguel Tejada, one year $6.5 million deal
Mike Fontenot, one year $1 million deal
Pat Burrell, a one year $1 million deal
Guillermo Mota minor league contract
For Huff I would expect that he comes down from his career year last year and produces at around 2 to 3 wins above replacement, lets call it 2.5 WAR over 2 years. That gives him a market value of $12.5 million so the Giants paid full price but didn't really overpay.
For Tejada I would expect around 1 WAR but if he stays healthy and doesn't do horrible on defense he could easily get into the 1.5 to possibly 2 WAR range. With my projection he has a market value $5 million but if he plays a full season and does a half decent job could be worth $7.5 to $10 million. This is a bit of an overpay but not horrendously.
Fontenot is going to be the back up infielder and with the limited playing time will be in the 0-0.5 WAR range giving him a market value of about $1.25 million so again this is right in line with what is expected.
Burrell is very easily a huge bargain. In his 96 games for the Giants last season he was worth 2.7 WAR so even if you expect that he has half as good of a season he is a 1.5 WAR player and worth $7.5 million on the open market. So the Giants got a huge hometown discount from Pat the Bat.
Bringing back Mota on a minor league contract again looks like a smart move. Mota was a decent guy in the pen and could be again next year. However he is pretty close to replacement level and was given a contract that reflects that.
Overall it looks like the Giants didn't have any bad overpays and maybe got a good deal for Burrell.
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